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GPC responds to NHS managers' 'failure' to stop hospital workload dump

The GPC has published a new set of template letters to send to hospitals who do not comply with the new curbs on dumping unnecessary workload onto GP practices.

It said this comes ’after the failure of many NHS managers to introduce agreed changes to the standard contract’ that NHS England recently made in response to calls from GPC.

These included ensuring hospitals did not send patients back to their GP for a re-referral if they missed their appointment, that hospitals directly communicate test results to patients, and that hospitals make direct onward referrals where necessary, among other things.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: 'Despite these new requirements, it is clear many NHS providers are not implementing these changes. The BMA has already ensured NHS England issued an instruction to managers reminding them of their responsibilities.

'However, alongside this the BMA is providing GP practices with template letters to redirect inappropriate demands back to hospitals to fulfil their contractual obligations.'

He said the new templates also include letters for CCGs to inform them of breaches of the standard contract, as they have statutory responsibility to ensure providers comply with their terms.

He added: 'Given the enormous pressures on general practice from rising demand, falling resources and staff shortages, we need to end the scandalous situation where everyday thousands of patients will see a GP purely for the bureaucratic purpose of re-referring after a missed hospital appointment.

'This is a waste of precious resources, and is directly denying patients access to GP services. We must use GP appointments for medical reasons, and liberate time for GPs and their staff to care for patients.'

The GPC had asked for NHS England to review secondary care workload dump as part of its 'Urgent Prescription for General Practice'. 

Click here for the GPC's template letters


Readers' comments (3)

  • Pulse lapsing back into the childish us and them 'NHS Managers' language is disappointing.

    Could you be more specific please - do you mean the clinically led CCGs that manage hospital contracts?

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  • Quite agree with the above. I'm an 'nhs manager' and have been shouting to the CCG managers to pull their finger out on it.

    Not sure template letters will have anyone quaking in their boots, but a useful start and a good way to mobilise folk.

    FOIing every CCG to ask for copies of their plans to enact and monitor the contractual change might have been more effective. In GPC's absence do you fancy it Nigel?

    Far too many cardies who are happy to just suck it up.

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  • When this year's NHS contract was first published in draft form it was much clearer about hospital doctors not needing GP permission to refer on. CCGs protested and got the wording changed from "any non-immediate or routine treatment or care that is unrelated to a Service User’s original Referral or presentation without the agreement of the Service User’s GP" to "not directly related to the condition or complaint which was the subject of the Service User’s original Referral or presentation". Spot the differences.

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